I don't often subway thumb because I don't take the subway much anymore. This week, though, I decided to give my body a rest after the triathlon, so I've been taking it all week.
I just missed the R train, leaving the maximum amount of waiting time, which I believe is now 8 minutes. Seems like an eternity in the stuffy heat.
These two Chinese men have just run into each other. They're talking quite loudly to each other. It almost sounds like a political debate. One guy dresses like my dad. At what age does the standard bottom become khakis?
We're on the train now. Here comes the barely intelligible "spare change" guy. I've definitely seen that guy walking and talking normally on the surface.
The girl next to me is reading an Israeli paper. Her ankles are sliced up from some recent heel action. I hope her look was worth the pain.
Second platform now. Switching to the express. It always comes quick. The period on the HTC Hero is too far to the left, leaving the spacebar not in the center of the phone when its sideways. It's in the center of the virtual keyboard, but the screen isn't centered. Leaves me typing a lot of periods instead of spaces.
Express train. Two people sitting in front of me as I stand, surfing free of any pole attachments. This guy is seriously fuzzy. Looks like he never got better than a 5 o'clock shadow his whole life. A mat of silver and black brillo is working its way out the top of his Polo shirt. He's rubbing his knees simultaneously. His head is drooping. Is this some kind of subway yoga or is this someone low on blood sugar? Praying for yoga.
Girl next to him has noise cancelling headphones plugged into her iPhone. Her arm is holding the phone down on the bag she keeps on her lap so I can't see what's playing. Yoga boy adjusts his shirt collar, smoothing the brillo. More drooping. More grabbing of the knees.
Radio's glasses are like an inch and a half thick. Her head looks tiny behind them, like peering through the keyhole of a door.
I look up at the door to see what station we're at. These two are both getting up. Two seats. I just pulled a slick move. Boxed out the dude to my right to grab one seat, to open up the left for this other lady. She was standing in front of this well weathered dreg who seemed to be inching creepily close behind her. A seat means the only thing rubbing behind her will be industrial subway plastic.
Now I'm facing legs and hands attached to more iPhones. I'm hunched over, elbows on knees. Thirteen minutes until breakfast. These pants in front of me are very well pressed, and end perfectly at his black leather shoes. Purple striped cuff. Fashionably skinny legs.
Next to him is a small birthmark just below a chubby skirted knee. A small light brown spot that would have never survived the skinned knees of an asphalt and cement childhood of a city boy.
Across the way, we have a worn student Keds without laces, mangled old lady toes and a little kid whose kicks barely touch the floor.
Canal Street. If you're Asian, there's an 86.4% chance you'll get out here. The train empties out. Now there's only one pain of slightly wrinkled Eddie Bauer khakis standing--straddling some gym clothes.
El Diario headline across the way. Next to it, a woman draws on eyebrows already present. Now powder blush. Various little compacts are emerging from this huge purse. I fully expect the next item to be tied to a long unending handkerchief of many colors. Next stop is mine. Right on time.